The Game Changer Suite is an interactive installation that includes five multiplayer games. The players are detected by a laser tracking system installed in the room and can control their virtual avatars by moving in the space. The five games use different game mechanics and thus offer a variety of entertainment. The players get to decide which game they want to play next via a democratic voting system which also works by changing the actual position in the room.
Game Changer was exhibited at the Ars Electronica Festival 2014 in Linz.
Beelzeball channels the fervent energy of competitive sports such as football or squash with computer game elements inspired by classic games like Arkanoid and Snake. But rather than being a team sport, the focus here is entirely on competition; it’s every player for him or herself. Once the ball is in play, players can use their snakelike paddle to bounce it towards the blocks. The ball changes to the color of the last player to hit it and collects points for this player every time it destroys a block. Power ups occasionally appear and can be used to lengthen the player’s tail or capture the ball and throw it in a specific direction. There are just 90 seconds to destroy all the blocks and collect as many points as possible.
created by Poorya Piroozan
Fish Feast is the most primal member of the GameChanger family. The goal is simply to consume as many nonplayer fish as possible and grow to a formidable size. But beware: the largest player fish (signified by the crown on its head) can also devour other player fish and eliminate them from the game. An electric eel occasionally wanders into the area and attempts to take the largest fish down a notch. Do you have what it takes to be the biggest fish in the sea?
created by Andreas Friedl
Fluridus combines competitive and cooperative play in a seemingly peaceful space setting. Players choose sides by taking a color from one of the two mother ships and then attempt to collect asteroid fields of varying sizes and colors that provide energy for each ship. To capture an asteroid field, players have to occupy its location so that the mother ship can target and pull it in with a tractor beam. Opponents can block this location process and even hijack captured asteroids. The more team members who are involved in the capturing process of an asteroid field, the faster the process goes. But neither team's success is guaranteed... Only teams who are able to fill their ship's energy levels within the 2-minute time limit will be able to activate the warp drive and escape the pull of the neighboring black hole.
created by Daniel Wilfinger
Swarm Defender features a standard savetheplanetfrominvadingspaceships scenario. But here the planet cannot be saved singlehandedly by a sharpshooter hero; players have to cooperate in order to protect the earth from a wave of 50+ invaders (the total number depends on the amount of players). Red, blue and green invaders can only be destroyed by a laser blast of a corresponding color. Single ships automatically fire green lasers at the approaching enemy ships. Players can join forces by standing next to each other to fire shots of a blue laser (two players) or an incredibly power red laser (three players). Can the planet survive the onslaught?
created by Andreas Friedl
Tower Of Power
Tower of Power draws its inspiration from the game classics Tetris and Bomberman, combining them into a team-based building race. After selecting a color (red or blue) by walking over one of the team bases on the left or right side of the floor projection, players can collect geometric shapes from the “source”, an area defined by particles in the middle of the screen. By carrying these shapes back to the home base, each team can construct their own tower that eventually connects to the source and draws on its energy. But beware: bombs become periodically active and can be used by the opponent team to destroy part of the constructed tower. The team that manages to charge its base with 100% of the available energy wins.
created by Georgi Kostov
In the game selection players can choose between any of the five games by simply standing on the desired game window. Once the timer has expired the game with the most votes will be loaded; in this way, the game selection is a collective, democratic process.
created by Andreas Friedl
The GameChanger Suite was developed by students at the Hagenberg campus of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. The focus of the GameChanger project is to explore cooperative and competitive gameplay in a colocated setting.
So-called serious games and other game-based solutions to problems have achieved notable successes in recent years when called upon to tackle a wide variety of problems—for instance, analyzing huge data sets or motivating XXL couch potatoes to get more exercise. Nevertheless, there’s hardly been any improvement in the framework conditions for the interaction of a lot of players in one and the same real space—it’s still gaming’s terra incognita.
Game Changer boldly goes forth into this unexplored domain. Each of the five games functions only by means of players’ physical presence and movements, and makes possible multifarious varieties of collaborative gaming.